Sweet Jalapeno cream cheese dip is a crowd favorite. I once made this recipe and didn’t tell anyone what was in it. The cream cheese dill dip recipe is one I have used for years, just adding fresh jalapenos to it. Everyone loved the cream cheese dip without knowing what was different. They were telling me they loved the added “HOT” flavor, but didn’t realize it was the fresh jalapenos.
JALAPENO CREAM CHEESE DIP
Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip is a quick and easy appetizer to make on the grill for any occasion. Smoked cream cheese topped with sweet and spicy jalapenos to serve with crackers or chips.
Grilling appetizers are a great addition to tailgating, backyard cookouts and even holiday gatherings. This easy dip is great to serve alongside cocktail meatballs, sausage stuffed mushrooms and steak and cheese bites.
INGREDIENTS FOR JALAPENO CREAM CHEESE DIP:
- Jalapenos ~ pickled or fresh
- Brown Sugar
- Cream Cheese
- Steak Rub or all purpose seasoning
HOW TO GRILL JALAPENO CREAM CHEESE DIP:
- Dice jalapenos.
- Pour water into a small pan with brown sugar and diced jalapenos.
- Cook over medium- high heat, stirring often and bring to a boil.
- Continue to cook about 5 minutes until syrup is thickened and slightly reduced.
- Spread softened cream cheese into a foil pie pan.
- Sprinkle steak rub over cream cheese.
- Spoon jalapeno syrup over the top.
- Garnish with a few jalapeno slices if desired.
- Grill over indirect heat over a 325° fire with the grill closed. Using hickory or pecan chunks will add delicious smoke flavor.
- Cook for about 15- 20 minutes until cream cheese is bubbly and desired smokiness is reached.
- Remove from grill.
- Serve with crackers or chips.
This smoked cream cheese dip is delicious both hot off of the grill or at room temperature.
Jalapeno Jelly or Pepper Jelly can also be used in place of the candied jalapeno syrup.
HOW TO STORE:
- Store cream cheese dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
- Serve at room temperature or warm up in a microwave for a few seconds.
Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
This easy jalapeno cream cheese dip is baked until it’s a gooey, cheesy addiction! Crunchy bread crumb toppings gives it that jalapeno popper texture and flavor.
Total time 20 minutes
If you’re looking for the perfect dip for your next movie night or super bowl party scroll down! This is full of flavor and super easy!
❤️ Why you’ll love it
- The ultimate creamy, gooey comfort snack!
- Easier to make in a big batch than traditional jalapeno poppers.
- Panko bread crumbs give a satisfying jalapeno popper crunch without all the fussy cutting and stuffing!
This jalapeno popper dip is a delicious appetizer that turns any time into party time. It’s the perfect medium-spice level without too much heat, but you can always add more or less spice depending on your heat preferences!
This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Mix the cream cheese, mayo, green chilies, and jalapeno peppers in a large bowl.
- Spoon the cream cheese mixture into a baking dish.
- Top with grated cheese.
- Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake.
In the unlikely event that you have leftovers, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap for a few days.
Heat in the microwave or oven to rewarm.
However, this dish is best served hot out of the oven the first time around, as the crumb topping will go soggy after sitting out or refrigeration. (For that reason, I don’t recommend freezing leftovers, either.)
On the other hand, this jalapeno cream cheese dip recipe is just so easy to throw together that you’re definitely going to want to prepare an extra batch in advance—for round two, or to save just for yourself!
To do so, follow the steps as written, but stop before adding the crumb topping.
Wrap the dish with foil or plastic and store it in the refrigerator for a few days. Add the crumbs and grated cheese just before baking so it doesn’t get soggy.
Voila! The best appetizer, done in a flash.
- Spice Level — As written, this jalapeno dip recipe has about a medium heat level ranking. If you prefer more spicy foods, add fresh jalapenos (and their seeds!) For a bit less spice, hold back on the peppers.
- Cheese, Please — Colby-Jack and parmesan cheese are a delicious blend, but you can also use sharp cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack.
- Dairy Subs — Sour cream or greek yogurt will work in a pinch instead of the mayo, but FYI: mayo gives the richest, sweetest taste of the three!
- Add Meat — Crumble some bacon bits into the cheese mixture for a meaty flavor. Alternatively, if you have leftover shredded chicken to use up, throw that in the mix, too!
- Extra Mix-Ins — Some people like to add dried cranberries for a sweet and spicy cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip! You can also add a diced white onion or sweet Vidalia onion for more texture and flavor.
- Alternate Toppings — If you don’t have breadcrumbs, crumble Ritz crackers on top of the dip instead. You can also garnish with green onion or cilantro after baking.
- Dippers — This creamy, spicy dip is best served with lightly toasted baguette slices. However, you can try it with corn chips, pita chips, tortilla chips, crackers, or even celery. Some people say it also tastes great on a burger or with some simple grilled chicken. So many options!
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Pre-grated and pre-shredded cheeses are often coated with an anti-caking element, which can inhibit melting. For the meltiest creamy dip, grate the cheese yourself from a block or wedge!
- Softened cream cheese mixes more easily than cold, so let it sit at room temperature for a bit before you get started. You can warm it on 50% power (or the defrost setting) in your microwave for a few seconds if it’s still too cold.
- Don’t forget to drain the chilies and peppers before adding them to the mix. A little bit of moisture is fine, but too much liquid will make your jalapeno cream cheese dip watery.
What is a jalapeno popper?
A jalapeno popper is a pepper sliced in half longways, stuffed with cheese, topped with breadcrumbs, and baked to crispiness. They’re delicious, but take a lot of effort. This jalapeno cream cheese dip imitates the flavor and texture perfectly but avoids the post-jalapeno-stuffing-finger-tingling sensation.
Is it “jalapeno” or “jalapeño” peppers?
Technically, the proper spelling is “jalapeño,” like jalapeño poppers. The little squiggle is called a tilde, and it indicates that the “N” is supposed to be pronounced “nyo” instead of “no.” However, most keyboards don’t easily allow for typing with the accent character, so “jalapeno” is also commonly accepted.
Can I make jalapeno cream cheese dip with dairy-free alternates?
You can use dairy-free or vegan cream cheese and cheese alternatives if you must. However, know that it likely won’t be as creamy or rich. I wouldn’t swap the DF alternates in unless you absolutely have to.
For what occasions is this dip best?
Literally, every occasion. Cookouts, potlucks, game day, holidays, informal get-togethers, formal dinners, movie night, etc. It’s great even for non-occasions, like while resting in PJs and watching your favorite show. You can’t go wrong with jalapeno cream cheese dip. Not ever.
3-Ingredient Candied Jalapeno Dip
Prep Time10 minutes
- ▢1 (8-ounce) jar diced jalapenos
- ▢1 cup sugar
- ▢2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
- ▢At least 24 hours before serving, drain the jalapenos and add them and the sugar to a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture back into the jar and place the jar in the refrigerator. Shake the jar once or twice to make sure the sugar dissolves completely.
- ▢When ready to serve, place the softened cream cheese in a large bowl. Use a mixer to beat until smooth. Drain the candied jalapenos and reserve the syrupy liquid. Add the jalapenos to the cream cheese and stir to combine. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved liquid to the mixture to thin the dip out and to add more flavor. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve alongside assorted crackers.
Cream Cheese Jalapeno Dip
Cream Cheese Jalapeno Dip is begging for crackers to be dunked in it! Quick and easy, this oven baked dip is full of flavour and texture. Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip is vegetarian, simple and ready to knock your socks off.
I have summarised the reasons why you will love this recipe in the points below. You might even find some more reasons to love it than the ones I have highlighted!
- Spicy but not too hot: this dip has a lot of flavour and tang. The jalapenos bring a kick of heat but it is moderated through the balance of cheese and yogurt for out of this world yum!
- Party starter: no one likes to go hungry at a party. This dip is a crowd pleaser which will entertain (and feed) all. Serve it warm with corn chips and its popularity will be the talk of the party!
- Vegetarian: this is a vegetarian recipe so you won’t have to worry if it will tick everyone’s boxes.
- Corn chip dip: the best serving suggestion for this dip is crunchy (toasted) corn chips. Plain is best as there is no need for additional flavours in the dip and chip combo. Salty and crisp, they do justice to the creamy spicy jalapeno combo.
- Creamy and cheesy: this recipe has the right balance between the need for a thick creamy dip to be scooped onto chips as well as being tied together enough so that the texture is thick and not watery. You can literally scoop the dip onto chips! Home run or should I say home yum dip combo.
- Serve hot or cold: rare is it that you can find a dip recipe that works being served hot or cold, but low and behold with this one you can! Serve fresh from the oven where the dip oozes yum or let it chill then people can fully load their cracker with the creamy thickness!
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Cream Cheese: this provides the thick creaminess in the recipe. It is a great ingredient to use in both sweet and savory recipe.
- Greek Yogurt: we use this to add another dimension of thick, creamy texture to the dish without having to use mayonnaise or sour cream. I use regular full fat Greek Yogurt.
- Parmesan cheese: this is a strong bodied cheese which has a bit of bite to it. Intentionally added as a balance to the soft cream cheese, it melts and merges to a kind of heaven sent yum.
- Red onion: peel the skin and slice the onion. I recommend measuring the amount prior to adding as this will ensure the onion doesn’t overwhelm the soft subtle cream cheese flavour.
- Tomatoes: we need 2 normal sized roma tomatoes, sliced with their seeds intact. These give an additional texture and flavour to the recipe so there is no need to add a dried herb.
- Garlic: use fresh garlic cloves if you can, but otherwise, mince garlic. The taste is barely evident in the consumption of the dip, however, it adds a grounded seasoned savory yum that can’t be overlooked.
- Salt and pepper: these 2 ingredients are used to season the dip. We only need a small amount of each.
- Jalapenos: I recommend slicing a jalapeno and topping the dip with it for garnish and or presentation sake. This lets the eaters know what they are in for and prepares them for a little heat! (They are shown twice in the pic above as we add some to the dip and place some on top of the dip).
- Coriander (cilantro): a small amount of this finely chopped is perfect to garnish the top of the dip.
Top Tip: Kitchen scissors are your best friend when it comes to chopping herbs. Simply add the cilantro (coriander) to a glass and use the scissors in a vertical motion to finely chop the herbs.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the dip. We start by combining the ingredients in an oven safe, heat proof bowl or baking dish.
- Add cream cheese, Greek Yogurt to heatproof bowl (Photo 1)
- Next add parmesan cheese and red onion (Photo 2)
- Then top with the chopped tomatoes (Photo 3)
- And add the diced garlic (Photo 4)
How to Make Cream Cheese Jalapeno Dip
To make the cream cheese jalapeno dip, start by placing the ingredients into a medium sized heatproof baking dish.
Once you have added the cream cheese, Greek Yogurt, parmesan cheese and red onion, top them with the sliced tomatoes and garlic.
- Add the sliced jalapenos (Photo 5)
- Then season with salt and pepper (Photo 6)
- Bake the dip for 10 mins (Photo 7)
- Then remove, stir and bake for a further 10 mins (Photo 8)
Once the dip has been in the oven for 10 mins, we remove it (you will need oven mits as the glass will be hot). Place it on a heatproof surface and stir it. You will feel at this point that the cream cheese has started to melt but is not yet at full melting point. So with the ingredients now all combined, we return it to the oven for a final 10 mins.
Once the dip is done, remove it from the oven, top with cilantro (coriander) and sliced jalapeno.
Almost ready to dive in? As you can see from the photo above, the use of the coriander and sliced jalapeno garnish the dip and then it is ready for eating! (Dunking and dipping all the way of course).
I can’t say that enough with this dip. They bring the crispy, crunchy, salty and delicious. Crackers are too non Mexican enough, so grab your favourite corn chips and toast them to prepare them for dunking.
I mentioned in the recipe highlights that you can serve this dip hot (warm) or cold. My recommendation is if serving hot, don’t worry about toasting the corn chips.
If serving the dip cold, toast the corn chips, as this will help them cut through the dip. The chilled dip is firmer than the warm dip so a little heat from the chips will ensure they don’t break off mid dunk.
Here are my top tips and tricks so that you can get this recipe right from the get go!
- Ensure you have a heatproof bowl or dish that is at least 1.3 litres (5.4 US cups).
- When adding the dip ingredients to the bowl, use the back of a spoon to push down the cream cheese, yogurt and parmesan cheese, creating a slight well on top for the jalapeno onion tomato mixture.
- Preheat the oven: this is so that the dip starts cooking as soon as you add it to the oven and you have a pin point time frame on the steps involved.
- Stir after 10 mins: 10 minutes is a good initial cook time as it allows the cheese to start melting and the jalapenos and tomatoes to start to soft and bake. After this period they get stirred into the dip for full flavour, texture and variety.
- Serving tip: if you refrigerate the dip and then want to use it, allow it to come to room temperature for serving. Also toast the corn chips and pop a spoon in there as shown in the photo below. This way the dip can be spooned onto the chips and the chips won’t break in the dip.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is spicy jalapeno cream cheese good on?
Corn chips. They are firm enough to dunk in the dip as well as bring a salty component. They also are a good size for dipping and dunking.
What is jalapeno dip made of?
Jalapeno Dip is made with cream cheese, yogurt, onion, jalapenos, tomatoes and parmesan cheese. A little salt, pepper and garlic is used to season the dish.
How does jalapeno cream cheese taste?
Jalapeno cream cheese is smooth, creamy and a little spicy. It tastes like food you would be served at a Mexican restaurant.
What can I do with cream cheese?
Cream cheese is versatile and can be used in a number of ways. Try using it as a sandwich spread, main ingredient in dip, paired with salami and crackers or as a pasta sauce.
What do you serve dips with?
There is a wide variety of serving suggestions for pairing with dips. Use crisp crudités, crackers, pita or tortilla chips, or savory biscuits.